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Latest Apprenticeship and Traineeship Starts

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The government have released the latest figures for apprenticeship and traineeship starts.

This data covers the period of August 2022 to March 2023 (based on data returned by providers in May 2023). 

Starts (Aug – Jan)

  • 195,600
  • Down by 4.1% from 2021/22

    Participation (Aug – Jan)

    • 636,960
    • Up by 2.3% from 2021/22

    Achievements (Aug – Jan)

    • 62,030
    • Up by 21.8% from 2021/22

    Figures for the 2022/23 academic year show:

    • Apprenticeship starts were down by 4.1% to 195,600 compared to 203,990 reported for the same period in the previous year.
    • Under 19s accounted for 28.4% of starts (55,580).
    • Advanced apprenticeships accounted for 43.3% of starts (84,650) whilst higher apprenticeships accounted for a third of starts (33.2% or 64,890).
    • Higher apprenticeships continue to grow in 2022/23. Higher apprenticeship starts increased by 7.1% to 64,890 compared to 60,570 in the same period last year.
    • Starts at Level 6 and 7 increased by 11.1% to 30,710 in 2022/23. This represents 15.7% of all starts reported to date for 2022/23. There were 27,630 Level 6 and 7 starts in the same period last year (13.5% of starts in the same period).
    • Starts supported by Apprenticeship Service Account (ASA) levy funds accounted for 63.0% (123,310).
    • Since May 2015 there have been 3,077,450 apprenticeship starts. Since May 2010 this total stands at 5,454,990.
    • Apprenticeship achievements increased by 21.8% to 62,030 compared to 50,920 reported for the same period in the previous year. Please note: COVID-19 restrictions and assessment flexibilities affected the timing of achievements, therefore care must be taken when comparing achievements between years as some achievements expected in a given academic year may have been delayed to the subsequent year.
    • Learner participation increased by 2.3% to 636,960 compared to 622,350 reported for the same period in the previous year.

    Sector Response

    FSB Policy & Advocacy Chair Tina McKenzie, said:

    “This downtrend in apprenticeship starts is a glaring signal that small businesses need to be prioritised in apprenticeship reform initiatives.

    “The apprenticeship levy should serve as an accelerator for recruiting fresh minds and stimulating growth, and any reform should enhance its core purpose of increasing the number of apprentices.

    “But currently, it unintentionally nudges larger firms to invest in upskilling those who already qualified, sometimes overshadowing eager newcomers in SMEs who are ready to learn.

    “A clever pivot can address this. The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) revenue, which jumped from £98.8million to £349million last year, offers a promising wellspring for apprenticeships. Redirecting a portion could supercharge incentives for employers. We propose transforming the £1,000 bonus for hiring under 19 apprentices to a £3,000 bonus for SMEs recruiting those under 25. Our research suggests this move could stimulate 21% of small business employers to onboard apprentices.

    “It’s vital to ensure a reliable supply of apprenticeship funding to our thriving small business community. The Government must not burden SMEs with extra costs when hiring new apprentices.

    “To avoid a bad situation getting worse, there needs to be a cast-iron guarantee to SMEs that the Government maintains a commitment to covering 95 per cent of apprenticeship training costs.

    “Resources set aside for SMEs’ skills development must not be left to the whims of the remaining levy balance.

    “Beyond apprenticeships, refining and making tax reliefs more transparent can ignite further training opportunities for SMEs and the self-employed. A brighter future is ahead with these changes.”

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